20 Jan Sound & Restful Sleep with Ayurveda
The next time you find someone sleeping soundly and snoring loudly, try not to feel anger or irritated! Because the snorer (or sleeper) is actually undergoing some very important transformation which usually takes place ONLY while we sleep! Yes, some of our most emotional & physical issues get sorted while we sleep, even though we may not be consciously aware of the transformation. A tired mind leads to irritation and the inability to make conscious and correct decision as the mind processes information in cycles and when tired, processes much less. We are most fit, alert, happy and responsive when we are fully awake. And that takes place ONLY when we have rested for adequate time and in the right manner. Irrespective of our Dosha constitution and our surrounding factors, sleep is what gets us going. Less sleep leads to lesser attention spans and the constant feeling of tiredness and irritation.
Dr Madhura Bhide once again with you. And this time, I tell you all about the importance of sleep as also Ayurvedic tips to get you a night of good, good sleep leading to a fresh and energetic day!
Do you know that it is only in sleep that most of our repairs and growth takes place? Muscle & bone growth, tissue repairs & healing, release of growth hormones etc. are some of the activities which takes place mostly during sleep. It is during sleep that most of our food gets digested and we are able to remove them. It has been found in wild animals that death sometimes occurs when they are unable to sleep for long periods of time which affect their vision and other bodily functions. Diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart stroke also get aggravated when sleep is deprived.
All this brings us to just one conclusion. The need to take steps leading to induce long and fitful sleep. With its +2 millenniums of experience behind it, Ayurveda prescribes natural and nature-based practices which are known to induce sound sleep like nothing else. They include the following steps:
1. The biggest meal of the day ONLY during mid-day!
Ayurveda bases all its diagnosis and prognosis on one factor- Agni- the digestive fire within. A strong fire leads to better digestion which takes care of all our nutritional needs + those of our doshas and bhutaas! This could come as a surprise for those who follow the western philosophy of heavy breakfasts and light lunch. NO, for sound sleep, eat a simple breakfast as our “Agni” is just starting to catch heat and if loaded early in the morning would do more bad than good. The heavy mid-day meal with a light dinner just at sun-down is sure to keep your digestion is top form which is sure to help you get a good night’s sleep without the need to wake up feeling uneasy or irritable.
2. If sleep still seems elusive, have a cup of warm milk!
Warm buffalo milk has all the right ingredients to put even the hardest of insomniacs to sleep! For most of us worried with daily activities and events, this is one of the best, least expensive, easily available and digestible of medicines which has many, many advantages besides inducing sleep. A small cup-full at bedtime is the right thing to do to induce sleep.
3. Give up on nicotine, caffeine and high-sugar stuff!
These are our usual consumption which we imbibe even subconsciously these days! A cup of tea here, a tall glass of coffee/ cold-coffee and so many glasses of colas! We usually don’t consider even once what we are doing to ourselves! All these artificially and unnecessarily overstimulate our nervous system till the time they either leave the body or are burnt. Neither happens close to bed-time. We instead keep wide awake just turning and twisting in bed only to wake up feeling tired and irritated. It is best that we give up these to the extent possible or consume them in moderation and that too hours before bedtime- somewhere near lunch time (yes, that is the kind of time it takes our bodies to digest these goodies!).
4. Get on a Good Routine in place and stick to it.
Our bodies like engines perform best when things remain in rhythm. Out of rhythm the wear and tear – both bodily and mentally is heavy and if done regularly, starts to affect our well-being entirely. The word “Dinacharya” and “Ratricharya” aren’t simply words to be thrown around in Ayurveda. These are precepts and concepts which have seen millennials of use and brought relief to its users. At their base, it means maintaining a strict schedule on everyday activities right from the time one wakes up to the time one goes to bed and even those while sleeping. Good habits when made part of life, enhances its quality and if done over years bear rich fruits. Throw in a measure of Yoga and Rigorous exercise (which should course be directly related to one’s age and physical conditions) and what you get is graceful aging and a great life- all because you sleep well!
5. Go to bed on time and rise early
Ayurveda prescribes going to bed BEFORE 10 PM EVERYDAY and waking up NEVER AFTER 6 AM. One should try and build a schedule around these times and stick to it.
6. Apply til oil to the feet and head for sound sleep!
Serotonin in til oil is said to aid in the feeling of relaxation which translates into good, healthy sleep. So apply it every evening before you go to sleep
7. Don’t make Gods out of Gadgets
Gadgets make life easy. Overuse them and they can make life tough! Too much unnecessary & invisible waves in the air aggravate our Doshas which invariably finds its way in the way we sleep. So, after dinner (around 7.00 PM which in most Indian cities is sun-down time), it is best to keep all gadgets- including TVs away and engage in something which does not spike the Doshas. Most activities like a walk of a hundred steps (Shatapawali), reading, singing, listening to very soothing and slow music etc tends to unwind most of us. And when we are totally and thoroughly unwound, we tend to sleep like a baby only to wake up feeling full and fresh!
8. Practice compassion meditation
Stress is one of the main reasons for not getting good sleep. And stress comes to us in most cases because we feel wronged, deprived, cheated or otherwise being put down. Life in an overcrowded country like India has more than its share of clashes on a daily basis right from the way one parks or drives a car to the way one works for a living. These, and other reasons increase the levels of stress we go through and can sometimes be dangerously high.
One rather simple and very innovative way to reduce this stress, get sleep and remain healthy is to remain compassionate by practising compassion meditation. And one of the best time to practice it is just before bedtime. By forgiving the apparent wrong-doer and looking at even bad experiences as a form of learning, one gives away the opportunity of feeling anxiety, breathlessness, sweating etc which are normal in stressful times. Agreed that not every situation can bring out the feeling of compassion but where it can, it ought to be used to forgive the person, understand the reason behind the act, and move on.
I hope all my readers do get their normal quantity of quality sleep every night. And if they don’t, the above steps should help. If it seems beyond the scope of these, I welcome you to visit us in person where I am sure we shall help you find the best of treatments and solutions!
Do let us know if there is something specific you would like to know. We welcome you to our clinics in Pune. Where you need more details, do visit our website www.recovalife.com or #roadtorecova.com.
An important point we would like to add here is of our sessions in Pune on various activities under Ayurveda which range from teaching yoga to hair-care sessions to correct breathing techniques and so on. The list of our plans is long. But we will do it for sure! And if that interests you, do visit our website and register your email ID to get timely information on all our future sessions.
This article is meant solely to provide information about remedies under Ayurveda and is not meant to be used for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.
Where the reader or any other person has chronic and/or dire health issues, it is advisable to consult a trained and certified medical practitioner for a complete and comprehensive diagnosis which can address the underlying issues effectively.
Recova Life and its constituents are also certified medical practitioners who can be consulted. Our numbers are +91 83800-16119 and Email ID email@example.com
With respect to the consumption of any herbs, fruits, vegetables and the likes mentioned here, it would be advisable where you consult a certified medical practitioner for his/her opinion before-hand.